29 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 29 2015 - The Power of Reconnecting

Sometimes, the simplest acts of kindness are the most treasured. A kind word, an offer to help, or a simple gesture of friendship make such a difference in our lives, whether we are the giver or the recipient. Never let an opportunity pass to do something kind for someone else because you will always be repaid in full at the end.

These things are all around us every day, but we are often too busy or caught up in our own lives to see them. These opportunities present themselves to us randomly, but if we learn to accept and act upon them in a positive way, a greater purpose soon becomes apparent.

I have recently experienced some of these events in my life. I reconnected with a childhood friend on FaceBook a few days ago. To some this might seem rather or mundane, but to me it was a very special occasion. I left my hometown after high school and never really went back other than a quick visit now and then. I had no ill feelings towards my hometown, it was just that my parents had raised me to explore the world, and not to settle down until I was ready. At the age of 18, I was ready to see the world through the eyes of college so off I went.

I decided after college to find a career and to travel in the process. I joined the Navy and that did allow me to fulfill both goals. I met people from so many different places, just in the Navy itself. I found myself drawn to people who had different life experiences than I had, and the bonds were made. As I transferred from place to place, some of those people drifted out of my life, and I drifted out of theirs. While this sounds rather sad, I understood it was just another part of life that I was experiencing.

I eventually found the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I have been happy ever since. As I grew older, the memories of childhood remained, and I often found myself wondering what had become of my old friends. I never was sure about how to reach out to them after all these years, and I hesitated.

Then last week, Thursday to be exact, I got a message from an old friend whom I had known since kindergarten. Regina popped up and asked how I was doing. It turned out that she had been readin some of my posts ( I was pleasantly surprised to discover) and we began typing away at each other. In less than an hour, we were on the phone with each other and reminiscing about our childhoods and the people that we both knew back home.

This is the reconnecting that I am talking about. Regina’s simple gesture made such a hige difference in how I felt about everything, and about myself in particular. I am writing this in part to express my gratitude to her for her interest. I began thinking about how we often pass up chances to do something nice for others. It diminishes us when we allow those opportunities to pass us by without acting on them.

Another example of what I am talking about is when a pet or an animal seeks attention. Over the weekend, each of our cats decided, at one time or another, they they would settle down in my lap for nothing more than companionship. To feel them purring made me realize that there was nothing else that I had to do that was more important than the time I was spending with them. A simple but very effective demonstration of the power of reconnecting with someone/something of value that adds so much to our lives.

28 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 28 2015 - How Do We Explain?

I was wondering, with all the news that has happened in the last week, how will we explain these actions to our children or their children’s children? How will we ever explain that it took nearly 250 years for some Americans to be recognized as full citizens? How will we explain how it took 150 years for a symbol of hatred, division and racism to finally be dragged into the light for all to see?
LGBTQ Americans have finally been recognized under the law with the ability to marry. This has been a generational shift in thinking, to be sure. It remains how the future will judge this generation for finally taking the proper action on this issue. Will we be judged as courageous for righting the wrongs of the past, or will we be seen as the ones who simply realized that things could not continue as they had been? The same question applies to the acceptance of the confederate flag.
I know that we are all congratulating ourselves and patting ourselves on the back for the actions. We do deserve time to rejoice in these actions that are long overdue. We also have to realize that our actions also have to be balanced against our inactions of the recent past. Unless you were born on this day, these things that were wrong were accepted, and for that we who remember will be judged. We can only take solace in the hope that our efforts to overcome these injustices will be sufficient to guarantee a favorable footnote in history, but that is far from certain.
Having said that, how will we move on the other vital issues that are affecting this country? We still stand accused as the generation who allowed a lunatic to murder 20 children in a school and do nothing about it for fear of upsetting some people. It is a shame that those 20 children will never have the chance to grow up and make their own contributions to society. Our silence and inability to act condemn us on that account. As of now, nothing has changed. Protests have been organized, voices have been raised, but we have allowed those in power to maintain their grip of fear over us. This has allowed the evil to go unchecked.
We are the generation that has witnessed the horrors of police brutality, again nothing has been done about it. What will future generations think when they overcome this horror? What will they think about us and our lack of real action on this issue?
What about the MURDER of 9 people in a church? Everyone reacts in the expected way, with shock and outrage, but what will we actually DO about this? We already see the tendency to bury our heads in the sand and hope that the problem goes away rather than addressing the injustices and hatred that spawned this attack head on. When we try the tired excuse that “this is a complicated problem that won’t be solved overnight” what will be the response of the future generations? Silence = complicity in cases like this. We have no justification for inaction other than an acceptance of guilt and refusal to act.
I like to think that the future will be better than the present. I like to think that the problems we have today will be gone in the near future. Then I realize that the “near future” is the length of time that I have spent writing this blog post, and yet nothing has changed. Nothing will change unless a catalyst is introduced. That catalyst has to be each and every one of us!

27 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 27 2015

Yesterday was one of the best days that I can remember.
The great day actually started on Thursday night when an old friend contacted me via FaceBook. We started texting and ended up talking on the phone for an hour. I have known Regina since kindergarten, but after I left my hometown after high school, we had lost track of each other as so often happens. When we spoke. it was as if we had never been apart. This is the first person that has reached out from my hometown, and I think that this is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Regina, I thank you from the bottom of my heart :)
I had taken the day off work in order to visit friends. Nicola is the widow of my friend Donald, who was killed in an accident last November. Hal and I have always been close to them, they opened their home and hearts to Hal when we moved to the DC area back in 2002. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas we go to their home to celebrate with them. Donald left behind 2 wonderful children, Brianna and Connor, and Hal and I think the world of both of them.
We have gone through the tough times with them, especially since last November. Nicola has often stated that most of the friends who were there to support her and the kids immediately after the tragedy have drifted away, but Hal and I have always been there for them. That sentiment means so much to both Hal and I. And so, Friday was a day that I had taken off from work in order to go with Hal and visit everyone. Since Nicola's mother was visiting from Scotland, it had all the makings of a perfect day.
I had been following the news from the Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage via the Internet, and was wondering if a decision would be made Friday. Of course, it turns out that it was. Hal and I heard the news before we left on our trip to Glen Burnie. I honestly cried when I heard the news because at last we are considered equal under the law, at least as far as marriage is concerned. There are still other hurdles to overcome overcome, but this decision should make those more manageable.
After a short celebration, Hal and I headed to Glen Burnie. Nicola, her mom, and Connor were the first to greet us with congratulations, and that truly meant the world to us. Sadly, Brianna was away, but she is 18 years old, and has a life of her own to lead. Her absence saddened us, but did not upset us because we know that she will loves us. The afternoon was spent catching up on everyone's lives, and discussing plans for our next get-together. We then headed to dinner at a local restaurant called The Little India Cafe in Glen Burnie. I can't remember a better meal nor better company to share it with.
Hal and I left Glen Burnie early in the evening since Nicola and family were traveling Saturday to New Jersey to spend the day with Don's parents, and Hal has to work today as well.
I honestly am glad that Hal and I were able to spend that very special day with some of our closest friends. It made a wonderful day that much more special.
As for today, it is dark and rainy here with thunderstorms predicted through the evening. I ran my errands early and came home to write. I suspect that we will stay in this evening after such a full and exciting day yesterday. I hope that there are many more such days in store for us all.

24 June 2015

Dreamer’s world June 24 2015

We certainly got a lot of rain here last night. The storms were so bad that I shut down the iMac and everything else rather than run the risk of a power surge ruining things. This morning has dawned clear and pleasant, which I hope will be an omen for the day itself.

I am trying to stay ahead of things here since I am taking Friday off. Some items remain to be worked on, and they require some inputs from one of my coworkers. I will have to wait until he is online before they can be addressed. Until then I will be busy getting the routine things taken care of in the meantime.
Lunch should be delicious, I made salmon patties the other evening and there are plenty of them still here. All I have to do is to make some mashed potatoes and slice up an onion and a cucumber to be all set for a great lunch here. Working from home has its advantages for things like this. Hal has left for work, he always does a few hours each Wednesday in addition to his Saturday and Sunday shifts, so I am here with The Stooges for a few hours as I continue to work on things.
It is always rather frustrating when I have to wait to hear back from other people before I can make progress on a task that I have, but since there is nothing I can do about it except to wait, that is what I will do.
I enjoyed my lunch tremendously and now I am waiting to hear from the same people I mentioned before as well as for the daily round of conference calls to start this afternoon. Thankfully, today is my early day so I am off work at 1530 this afternoon.
As the afternoon moves slowly towards 1530, it is becoming apparent that the people I need to interact with are not going to make themselves available today. I have the records of emails asking them to meet with me in order to protect my interests at any future time. I am done with them for the day, I really don’t expect any response from them before quitting time.
The ;ate afternoon and early evening were uneventful here. We made a trip to the grocery store and are back home for the night. I am hoping to have a productive day tomorrow and then Friday off to visit with friends before the weekend. I hope that everyone will have a great evening.

Dreamer’s World - Something Bigger than Yourself

I have spent some time thinking about how we can change the world we live in when we seen injustice and exploitation of others. To recognize these problems and take part in trying to find solutions means that we are working as part of something larger than ourselves. I have written before about the value of social media in these efforts, and I will continue to emphasize the importance of social media as things move forward.
To put things into perspective, until the recent past, I will say 2012, we were at the mercy of the traditional media to inform us of things that happened outside of our local area. Even the advent of 24-hour news networks didn’t really address this situation. The networks simply decided what we were to to see and what we were to be told about it. While this was a change from the past prior to the 1980s, it really provided nothing more than a magnification of how we were spoon fed information up until that time.
As CNN arrived, the media soon discovered that they could not maintain reporting around the clock. This was NOT because there was any lack of importune things happening, rather it was CHEAPER for them to start plugging in as many infoporn stories as they could because these infoporn stories did not require any reporting skills, just a talking head to parrot what was being told to them.
the first example, for those old enough to remember, was Jessica McClure, the infant who fell into a well in her backyard in Texas. There was non-stop reporting on every minute detail of this story, and the dreaded “human interest” sections were expanded. This proved to CNN, and would also prove to their imitators MSNBC and Fake News, that these “stories” could be packaged and promoted without any true news interest.
Let me pause to say that for those of you who were not around at the time, Jessica McClure was rescued and I am happy that was the case. Jessica was 18 months old when this happened to her, it was a tragic accident and she had no control over how people responded.
Regardless, the pattern was established for the 24-hour news networks to package items that were NOT truly news. This is the beginning of “infoporn”, the type of bullshit that people could talk about with one another that really didn’t require any thought, and that lent itself to pre-formed opinion, rather than discussion of the various aspects of it.
We fast forward to 2012 and we have the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin. This story was the first one that I can recall where social media bagel to outperform the traditional media. The pre-packaged infoporn was presented to the public, and many people still swallowed it hook. line, and sinker. The difference was generational at first, younger people simply refused to let go of this story because it did involve something that was very serious, the loss of a human life, the issue of guns and violence, and the issue of racism.
Ever since the Trayvon Martin case, things have changed for the better in terms of people paying attention to what is really going on in the world. The traditional media are still trying to put the genie back into the bottle and control the stories, but they re failing miserably. I think that this is a good thing because it proves the rigged game that they were running all along.
Mike Brown was the next big case that showed what a fucked-up world we live in. Once again, social media was there and was NOT letting this go. The blatant cover-up and the failure to prosecute the police officer focused the spotlight on injustice as it had not been in decades.
Eric Garner was the next example of this ugly side to our society, once again social media was there and remains involved. I like to make the point that in the past, stories like Trayvon, Mike, or Eric were labeled as “isolated incidents”. Now we know that there is a pattern of behavior that we can all see around us. We were LIED TO before by those who we trusted to keep us informed.
And we now look at things today. There are still awful tragedies and TERRORIST attacks like the one in Charleston, SC. But while the traditional media wants to divert our attention away from this with their next batch of infoporn, we are staying focused on the important story. More has been done to draw attention to the RACISM in this country since the TERRORIST attack than I can remember in my lifetime. I was a small child during the Civil Rights portion of the 1960s, so I don’t really remember that at all.
We, the PEOPLE, are doing this WITHOUT any help from the traditional media. Eventually, traditional media will go the way of the dinosaur if they refuse to adapt. As people become more tech savvy, and realize how much there is going on that we were NOT made aware of before, I fail to see how the traditional media can remain relevant except to those with no interest in learning the truth.
It feels great to be part of something bigger than yourself. Individually, we could never accomplish the things that we show the promise of right now, but together we can move mountains.

23 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 23 2015 - Social Media and The New Generation of Leaders

There is a growing consensus in this country that the Confederate flag should be taken down from all public places. I cannot agree more. That symbol of RACISM and HATRED has no place in our society today. I will not give any credence to those who want to claim that the flag doesn’t represent RACISM and HATRED, those people are beyond my ability to help them.
I know that this latest effort to get rid of the flag is the direct result of social media. Once again, the people have run miles ahead of the politicians and religious leaders on an issue. It is amusing to watch them, especially the RWNJ lunatics republicans trying to catch up with the rest of the country on this issue. After all, when RWNJ republiKKKans are forced to retreat on an issue that is one of the foundations of their RACIST and HATRED based platform, we know that something is changing.
In the time that has passed since I started writing this blog post this morning, Amazon, eBay, Walmart and many other retailers have announced that they will no longer carry confederate flag-themed merchandise! This is a HUGE victory for everyone! Social media DOES work for the betterment of us all!

Social media has proven over and over that it is more important than the traditional media will ever be again. People who what information and NOT infoporn are learning that they cab find real information through social media. The mainstream media has been left to the lunatics who still want to have opinions disguised as facts poured into their empty heads, and I feel sorry for them, but I will not look back.
While social media has evolved from a very progressive worldview, we need to be aware that there are RWNJ out there who will attempt to manipulate it for their own agenda. The latest attempt to do this is the series of attacks on DeRay McKesson, and activist who came to prominence during the Mike Brown episode in Ferguson, MO last year. Derby has provided a voice for thousands, and a platform for an entire movement that is demanding change. He has not become rich with these efforts, he does them because it is the right thing to do.
Sadly, whenever someone rises up to challenge authority, there are those who take perverse join in attacking them. Derby has been the subject of attacks for some time now, but the RWNJ have begun to coalesce and focus their attacks against him with the purpose of discrediting him in the eyes of the public. These efforts are doomed to fail because the people that they are trying to reach no longer listen to them. They are only reaching those people with the same warped worldview that the RWNJ already have.
Social media has proven its effectiveness over the last few years. I cannot see a scenario where people return to the old media for information again. The lies that we have been fed have been exposed, the trust is gone. I wish that I had a portion of the courage that DeRay has, I admire him tremendously. I know that regardless of the slurs and insults hurled at him, they are the acts of desperate people who know that they are on the wrong side of history.
Never forget that the main objective of the traditional media is to keep you informed only with the opinions that someone else has pre-approved for your consumption first. Free your mind and find the truth for yourself. Remember that money talks loudly for too many people, and that those who can flood the airwaves with infoporn do so with an agenda. We all know the truth when we take off the filters that society has placed on us.

22 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 22 2015 - White Privilege is the Main Obstacle to Overcome

White Privilege is a term that recently arrived in the public consciousness via Social Media in response to the epidemic of police brutality and murder across the nation. White Privilege is the mindset that affects many Whites and prevents them from seeing the real problems of racism and inequality that are plaguing our society.
White Privilege is the mindset that everything is really fine, and that racism is a thing of the past. White Privilege is a way for whites to walk around the thorny issue of racism. White Privilege assumes that all people are treated equally because that is what Whites are led to believe. The instances of inequality and racism are always attributed to “isolated incidents” and will NEVER constitute a pattern of racist behavior.
White Privilege teaches whites that whenever blacks or other monitories bring up the issue of racism that it must be because they are lazy and unwilling to work hard to earn anything. This viewpoint is in itself, extremely racist, because it automatically places the blame on the victims of racism and not on the perpetrators, because racism doesn’t exist. The mental gymnastics required to reason this way are ridiculous and offensive.
White Privilege can be used in almost any circumstance because it has a nebulous definition. Non-Whites are the cause of their own trouble, and there is no blame that can be laid at the feet of White society for these problems.
Whenever racism is identified, the first response by White Privilege is to exclaim that the non-whites must be attempting to get “something for nothing”, or that they are trying to obtain special rights. The idea that there are legitimate grievances doesn’t occur to the followers of White Privilege.
“They need to work harder”. or “I never have been a racist and am offended by that suggestion” are often used as defensive arguments by the followers of White Privilege. They exist in this bubble of unreality where only hard work gets results. Actually in the real world there are multiple instances of where the color of one’s skin can and is used to enforce preferential treatment. It is as if the followers of white Privilege know that they are benefiting from the system and do not want the level playing field that they so often brag about.
White Privilege and Racism are finely wound together. One cannot exist without the other. Instances of Racism need to be clearly called out, as well as the accompanying White Privilege that goes along with these instances.
Since I am White, I cannot clearly define all of the aspects of White Privilege, I understand that. It is something that is os insidious that I will miss aspects of it, and I don’t want any unintentional omissions to be counted against me. This is just what I can determine from my first review of the subject, it cannot possibly be complete but at least it is a start.

20 June 2015

TERRORISM, Charleston, and Forgiveness

This will be a very difficult post to write. I am sure that some people will be upset by it, and I want to say that to some of those people this is NOT intentional, but to those who support in any way the TERRORISM that happened in Charleston, then for you, IT IS INTENTIONAL.
For the last 24 hours, the news has been filled with statements of forgiveness for the terrorist from the families of the victims. Personally, I could never bring myself to utter those words if it had been a member of my family who was murdered. Having said that, the issuing of forgiveness is the prerogative of the families affected most. I respect them for what they have done by making those statements of forgiveness.
At the same time, I can already see the floodgates opening for the apologists who want to diminish what the TERRORIST has done, and the harm that he has caused. The logic goes something like “If the victims’ families can find it in their heats to forgive this man, then shouldn’t we all feel that way?”. The answer here to these apologists is a resounding FUCK NO! This piece of human shit knew exactly what he was doing, and in my opinion he deserves nothing but the harshest punishment that the law can deliver to him. I would feel the same way if a member of my family had been butchered by this TERRORIST!
What happened in Charleston was a symptom of a much greater problem. We will not resolve it quickly or painlessly. The festering wound of racism bred this TERRORIST and others like him. They walk among us and remain nearly invisible until they do their awful deeds and we always react the same way. The pattern repeats, and this is just as much a part of the problem as the TERRORISTS themselves. Every time one of these TERRORISTS rears their ugly head up to commit, or attempt to commit, a TERRORIST act, they should be dealt with in the harshest manner allowable by law. Those who support them should be publicly called to account as well for aiding and abetting these lunatics. Those who have indoctrinated them into HATE and RACISM should also be brought to Justice at the same time.
This evil will not willingly give up and go away. It has to be fought at every opportunity and weeded out wherever it is found. No amount of forgiveness will ever cause the sick people to behave rationally, so if the families of the victims feel better by forgiving them, I have no problem with that, but as a society we have to take these TERRORISTS down whenever and wherever we find them before even more TERRORIST attacks happen. We have to prepare ourselves for a long fight against an enemy within this country, and enemy that claims to live this country, but will every opportunity to destroy it if we allow them to.

19 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 19 2015

The end of the week is here at last. I was beginning to think that it would never arrive. The week just dragged on and on with work, the terrorist attack in Charleston and my continuing effort to quit smoking all demanding their share of my time and nerves this week.
Work is moving along rather well. Nothing new to report on that front.
Charleston took me by surprise, both by it’s violence and by the sheer audacity of the terrorist. It seems that we never learn from our past. As long as there are RWNJ out there who keep hate alive, we are susceptible to these terrorist attacks. The second worst part of the whole affair was the RNWJ politicians rushing to provide cover for themselves and to throw suspicion away from their hateful speech and policies that undoubtedly influenced the young terrorist in the first place.
It has become a common refrain. Blame the victim, blame the terrorist as an “isolated incident” or as “a disturbed individual”, blame the victims “If they were armed they would still be alive”. Blame everyone but the actual terrorist and their RWNJ supporting cast but trying to cast this as an attack on christians. This entire attempt to get away from the microscope of examination disgusts me. It says a lot about RWNJ that they want to talk shit, but are never around to deal with the consequences of their speech.

18 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 18 2015 - Domestic Racial Terrorism

The time has come to stop denying that there is a real problem in America. The time has come to stop denying that we have a real issue with Domestic Racial Terrorists in this country. White Supremacists have existed in the shadows for decades, but since the election of President Obama, they have become more and more open with their hatred of anyone who dares to disagree with them.
This pattern of behavior is too often excused with the “disturbed individual” or “lone wolf” justification when we know good and well that if we heard these stories originating from other countries we would act shocked and outraged and instantly label this group of people as Terrorists. Let’s drop the baloney and admit to ourselves that we DO have a terrorist problem in this country. The problem is White Supremacists and their followers attacking Black Americans because of the color of their skin, pure and simple.
This dangerous behavior is deeply rooted in American culture. For too long, racists have not been called out on their obscene behavior. For too long, politicians have been allowed to prey on these racial fears of the White community in order to get their votes. For too long, Black Americans who are the very target of these attacks are being denied the right to vote, because the racists know that they cannot win in a fair fight. And because these racist lunatics can always find a way to get their hands on weapons, legally or illegally, we find ourselves once again shaking our heads in DENIAL of our problem.
Apparently, a Black American can be killed for possessing Skittles and Iced Tea. Apparently, a Black American can be killed for seeking help in the middle of the night because “they look dangerous” when they approach the home of a white person. Apparently, a Black American can be killed by the police without consequence for either a) running, b) complying with the officer or c) just being Black. Apparently a Black American can be killed because someone doesn’t like their music. Apparently, a Black American can be killed for selling cigarettes. I wish that I could say that this list is complete, but I seriously doubt it is.
While this goes on, there are White American racists who are arming themselves to the teeth in preparation for some lunatic vision of a race war. These people should never be allowed to breed. When they do, they end up molesting their own children anyway.
I wish that there was a quick and easy answer to all of this tragedy. Personally I don’t see one. Gun control would be a start, but the RWNJ White racists will never willingly give up their precious guns, and we all know that. Racism cannot be undone in an instant, because it is a long-term problem that is taught from parents to their children.
The only real first step we can take as a society is to call out racism whenever and wherever we see it. We cannot let it have a minute of peace. It has to be hounded night and day. Racism has to be exposed openly and subjected to public discourse and ridicule. Racism has to be identified for the sickness that it truly is. Yes there will be some people who should be institutionalized because they represent a danger to society. I don’t see any other way to stop this ongoing terrorist threat to our country. We don’t need to worry about being destroyed from outside, we are doing a fucking great job of it all by ourselves!

17 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 17 2015 - Memories of Summer Mornings

How many times have you felt a sense of déjà vu on a beautiful summer morning? It's like receiving a postcard from your childhood when the world was full of wonders and possibilities, and we didn't have a care in the world. The biggest decision we had to make was where to ride our bicycles to, and who we would play with on a glorious day such as this.
Even as I sit on a bus that is stuck in traffic, going nowhere fast, this glorious morning is one of those that seems to have been plucked from my own childhood. I can feel the freedom that I lack now, calling to me. Since I cannot answer it verbally I have to write these words in response. It seem as if time has been somehow interrupted when memories like these happen. We watch our current selves going through the motions of our everyday lives, and yet we can see the past so clearly, it doesn't take much for our tenuous hold on the here and now to vanish.
I think that these memories are sent to us as a reminder to just be happy and carefree every once in a while.

16 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 16 2015 - Love

“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love, it only matters that you love” John Lennon
Such powerful words, so simple and yet so intertwined to make us stop and think. Love is the eternal mystery. Love is what makes us Happy and Sad. Love can make us feel so much a part of something, and it can also make us feel so completely alone.
John Lennon was a keen observer of humanity. He was no saint by any measure, but he was able to make his observations with such clarity and wit that they stand out years after his death.
“It matters not who you love”. This was probably written in response to the criticism that John himself faced over his relationship with Yoko Ono. Such a relationship was not viewed as innocently then as it is today. However, John Lennon used the language that makes this applicable to the world today. It can be applied to Gays and Lesbians in the modern sense. The statement reflects the act of love, it does not attempt to judge in any way, not should it. When we are all children we are taught the magic of love, although the definition has defied the best minds for millennia. To find love and to express love is the greatest experience that we can have.
Why are we so resistant to the idea of love? We seem far too ready to proclaim our support for the latest examples of hate and cruelty in the world. Someone raises up a banner of multi-colored fabric and we lose our sense of humanity out of a misguided sense of loyalty to that banner. We will kill and injure in the name of that banner, because we know that it offers us absolution for the monstrous crimes that we commit under its shadow.
Why then, are we so resistant to love one another? Is it because love somehow suggests weakness rather than strength? If that is the case, then why do we offer such quasi-religious devotion to the idea of love? I believe that love is what we are intended for, but hate is what we are programmed to do. Those who lead us know that it is easier to maintain control by instilling hate in us rather than love. Love remains an abstract idea, while they provide us with a constant drumbeat of hatred and war. To them, love becomes something that we “protect” by committing atrocities. There is no logic, and no love in this mentality. No wonder we always feel so empty. No wonder love seems so elusive to us all. No wonder that love is seen as a possession, rather than an emotion, or a lifestyle.
I wish that I had the opportunity to have met John Lennon. I think that an afternoon talking with him would have been fascinating. Perhaps he could have enlightened us more than he already has. I have often thought that John Lennon would have loved the internet, with the free flow of ideas and creativity. Sadly, we are left with small glimpses of John Lennon’s brilliant insight, but perhaps that is for the best. It keeps us searching for the truth in things, and I think that is the most important thing that there is.

Dreamer’s World June 15 2015

Monday has arrived. We are still awaiting rain in order to clear out the air around here, but none has arrived. The last few days have seen thunderstorms popping all around us, but always seeming to just miss us at the same time. I am not sure why this run of bad luck is going on. Normally, I don’t like days to be wasted with rain, but the allergies have really affected me and the air needs a thorough washing with rain. Eventually, this will happen. Until then, I will just make it through each day as best I can.
Today marks the first day of my new schedule. I slept in until 0800 this morning and was at work by 0900. The drawback is that I am still at work at 1700, but this will allow me to no have to lose so much of my evenings due to an early wakeup from now on. Since it is the first day, adjustments will have to be made. I think that by the end of this week that I will be OK with the new schedule after all.
Normally, I would have resisted changing my schedule. I dislike being at work late in the afternoon. Then I realized that making this change was not going to be such an obstacle since I am no longer commuting, but am working from home. This is actually the first job that I have had in decades that doesn’t involve me having to be at work before 0700, and I am actually doing the job that I already love anyway!
Since I am in the last 15 minutes of the workday, I have let Hal know that we are going to go out for a little while in the very near future. We will make a trip to the grocery store if nothing else. Perhaps Hal has some other errand that he needs to take care of as well while we are out.
This evening will be a quiet one once we get home. I will have to make the adjustment of going to bed later at night for a change. I suppose that eventually this schedule change might make it possible for us to go out with friends on a weeknight occasionally.
In addition to this change to my routine, I need to refocus on my writing on a daily basis. I will do some more research into things that are of interest to me, rather than simply recounting the events of my day.

15 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 14 2015

Sunday has arrived, there has been no rain and so the allergies continue. Today will be a day of washing sheets and bedclothes in an attempt to get rid of the offending allergens. On the bright side, the constant coughing has made the decision to stop smoking much easier to deal with. I had a friend ask yesterday why I thought that the allergies were making me cough and not the smoking/lack of smoking. I agree that by quitting smoking that my body might initiate some type of mechanism to cough more to clear out my lungs, but I pointed out that Hal has had the same issue. I have never smoked indoors, so there is no odor in the apartment. I still believe that this coughing episode is the result of something in the air that just irritates the hell out of myself and Hal. That is why I honestly wish we would get a few strong storms to blow through here and clear that air out. DC has actually had Code Orange Air Quality for several days this last week. Those are issued when the air mass is not moving, and allergens and pollutants are trapped in the air. At least the coughing take my mind off not smoking in a perverse way. When the air does clear out I think that I will have passed through the worst phase of quitting, and that is the first 24-48 hours. Honestly, I haven’t had the opportunity to miss smoking at all yet. Since there doesn’t appear to be much chance of rain right now, I will go and pick up a few necessities that we need around the apartment, first and foremost being more tissues since we are both still coughing, as mentioned earlier. I’ll come back home and continue to get laundry done today. I won’t be setting my alarm for tomorrow morning when I go to bed since I am shifting my work hours to the right tomorrow. I will not be starting work until approximately 0900 rather than 0700. This means that Hal will be awake before me and can make sure that I am up each morning. Due to travel requirements, I will probably keep my old schedule for Wednesday, but that will be the only exception. Now that the laundry is done, it is time to go out and get some Kleenex to help with the coughing spells. I might do some window shopping while I'm out, but I don't foresee spending any extra money at this time. I made it back from that trip well before 1300, and now I face the prospect of yet another lonely afternoon here by myself. I will try to find things to do to help pass the time, but it does become rather difficult to motivate oneself after a while. And so, as I look out the window and can almost feel the heat truing to work it's way through from the outside, I will focus on doing other things around here.

14 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 13 2015

Saturday has arrived. It is rather overcast this morning, and I would not mind some rain to clear the pollen and allergens out of the air, to be quite honest. I have determined that I am going out today regardless of the weather.
This morning I celebrated the 24-hour mark since my last cigarette. So far, this has not been too difficult, but I realize that there will be some tough times ahead. I just hope that I can maintain the discipline to get through those times without giving in to temptation.

As the afternoon slowly meanders past, I am still smoke-free and not really suffering any withdrawal symptoms at this time. I think this has a lot to do with the allergy attack I have been suffering from. That has made me cough for several days, and not smoking just eliminates that irritation. I am still coughing regularly, but it doesn't hurt like it did the first few days before I stopped smoking. Hal has been suffering from the same allergy, but he has never smoked, and I have not smoked in this apartment since we moved in.
The middle of the day passed without incident while Hal was at work. I attempted to travel to Potomac Mills, but ended up stuck in traffic, so I turned around and came back home.

12 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 12 2015

Friday is here at last! I am glad to have reached the end of this week, and am looking forward to the weekend. today also marks the start of an effort that I have been building up to for some time, and that is my desire to stop smoking. Today I had a cigarette after waking up, and my mission is to NOT have another cigarette for the rest of the day.
If i can make it through until bedtime this evening, I should be well on the way to finally kicking the habit that has controlled me throughout my adult life. I am tired of the money that I spend on cigarettes, I am tired of fighting off the colds that seem to linger, I am tired of always having to excuse myself when around friends to go outside and smoke.
What is done is done. I can only attempt to better myself as I move forward. I have been wrestling with this decision, debating a day to begin the full effort, and most of all, to put this decision down in writing. There is a part of me that is so afraid that I will not be able to follow through on this, I will do my very best to succeed.
This will probably involve some short temper episodes, which is another reason I decided to start this effort on a Friday morning. If I can get through today, I can then refocus my efforts on tomorrow and then Sunday. From what I have read, if I make it that far, the worst will be over as far as the cravings are concerned and I should be able to maintain my decision with the only problem being temptation. Since none of my friends smoke any longer, I don’t think that this will be a problem.
Therefore, as of right now, I am taking the remaining cigarettes and lighter and ashtray to the dumpster and disposing of them. As of 0730, the cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays are all gone. Since I have never smoked in the apartment, there is no lingering odor for me to deal with. I still have some electronic cigarettes and i hope to dispose of them within a few days as well.
This is a huge step for me. I am looking forward to meeting and conquering the challenge. I want to kick the habit once and for all.
As 0900 rolls around, I am feeling fine. Actually, the lack of any real tasking is just making this morning truly drag along.
1200 is here and I am beginning to feel the first urges that I need a cigarette. Having already sipped of them this morning, I am going to fight my way through this one hour at a time. First thing will be to make it to the 1230 conference call. That will bore me out of my mind for approximately 30 minutes.
After a complete day at work. I made it through without another cigarette. Hal and I want into DC to meet up with a friend to celebrate this birthday and we finally got home after 2200. I still have not had the uncontrollable urge to smoke although I did take a few puffs on the ecig earlier.
I count this day as a success on the effort to stop smoking!

11 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 11 2015

There are days when I feel like complete crap due to lack of sleep. Yesterday was one of those days. I have had chest congestion that has made sleeping nearly impossible due to coughing all night long. I have been taking Mucinex for a few days now, and the problem is slowly getting better. I did manage some actual sleep last night for a change.
I have been busy rearranging my schedule working from home. Beginning next week I am moving my work hours 2 hours to the right. I will start at 0900 rather than 0700, and work until 1730 as opposed to 1530. This will actually mark the first time in my adult life that I have had a job that did not require me to be at work no later than 0700. I kept that routine because of the commuting problems in the DMV, but since I am working from home now, that is irrelevant.
The other issue that has taken most of my time recently is the changing of a regularly scheduled meeting from Friday to Thursday. On of the participants, who is rather important, made an obligation to another series of meetings and then came begging for me to move the meeting that has happened at the same time for the last 4 years. Trying to break a routine like that is difficult with so many other people involved. Personally, I find it rather selfish that the person put us all into this predicament in the first place.
Regardless, life goes on. I will finish out this week on the old schedule, and then shift by 2 hours on Monday. Without a morning or evening commute, I think that this will work out better for me in the long run.
Once the workday is over with, I will see what Hal wants to do, or where he wants to go. We have been staying in for the last week or so as we have both been dealing with allergies to some degree, and it would be nice to get out for a change. I will leave that decision with Hal for the time being.
This has already turned into a rather boring day at work. It is just after 1000, and my rescheduled meeting isn’t until 1130. At least I can get up and walk around here at home without attracting attention to myself. There is only so much that I can do prior to this meeting. In the meantime, the afternoon is already filling up with more conference calls. These will really try my patience, because my inputs are rarely sought out at these conference calls.
I suppose that I will have lunch as the meetings go on. It will help to pass the time and give me something to focus on rather than the incessant yammering of the other participants.
The meeting went on as planned, except that the person responsible for wanting the schedule changed in the first place also hijacked the meeting and cause it to run later than normal. This game me less time to get lunch and now I am stuck in the conference calls until quitting time later this afternoon.
I am finished with the work day at last. I stepped outside and it is really HOT this afternoon. Hal informed me that he wants to stay home, so that is what we will do for the evening. We have spaghetti and sauce for meals, so we are all set for an evening at home with The Stooges.
On a side note, I purchased Blogo today as the end of my trial period drew near. This software has made maintaining my blog so much easier on a daily basis, I highly recommend it to everyone


I just finished an early dinner of spaghetti, and it was delicious. As mentioned earlier, we are staying home this evening. I will try to get in touch with friends in Glen Burnie this evening and see about a time this month we can all get together. I am more than willing to take time off for this to happen.
It remains really hot outside, and I am glad that we are inside where it is cool. The desire to go out has subsided. I will try to get out this weekend. If there is a trip later this evening, it will be to the grocery store for a few necessities and nothing else.

10 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 9 2015

Tuesday started out with a schedule change for me. I had to take Hal back to his doctor in Bowie, MD this morning because he had some vision issues over the last few days. I was relieved when he came out of the office this morning and told me that there was nothing majorly wrong. Apparently, he just needs to take things easy for a few days and not get too stressed about things.
With the time that I took for the trip this morning, I will be working late today and tomorrow, until 1730 both days. I didn’t want to use any leave time right now, even though I would have done this and used the leave if I had to.
At any rate, I am back home and at work. Of course, there will be another endless conference call this afternoon, but I am not expected to provide much input, so I will try to keep working on other things as the people drone on and on for hours. After work finally ends at 1730, Hal and I have to go and vote, and then make a trip to the grocery store. After that, we will be home for the evening.
As my usual quitting time approaches I am faced with the prospect of another 2 hours at work. Not the most pleasant of outlooks, but at least I won’t have any leave time wasted. I repeat this drill again tomorrow, except I will start at the normal time of 0700 and go until 1730.

09 June 2015

Dreamer's World - McKinney, Texas

Sometimes we hear or see things that we wish were only bad nightmares rather than reality. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I finally saw the video taken at the pool party in McKinney, Texas and I have to say that it made me sick to my stomach.
I felt as if I were watching a documentary about Racism in the 1940s or 1950s. Sadly, this happened in 2015 and shows once again that we as a country have such a long way to go in order to eliminate the scourge of Racism. There are far too many White Americans who are full of hate. They cannot and will not allow for a country that is free for everyone. They cannot and will not do away with their obsolete view of racial superiority over everyone else.
I do feel sorry for people like that, but they are dangerous to everyone around them. They cannot compromise their warped beliefs, and deep down they know that they are on the wrong side of history and Justice. Sadly, this just makes them even more dangerous to everyone else. People like this often are involved with other RWNJ causes, they have a fun fetish, and they believe that everyone else is out to get them. We have an entire culture that panders to this line of thinking, and it is called Fox News. No belief is too outlandish for them as long as it fits in with their "conservative" view of the world.
Add to this the disturbing culture of white people who want to live in gated communities in order to "feel safe", when they are blatantly trying to keep people who don't look and believe like them out. Something has to fill the void in their lives that could be filled by interaction with other people, and HATE and RACISM rush in to fill that void.


07 June 2015

06 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 6 2015 - A Full Day

Another Saturday morning has arrived. I got Hal out the door and on his way to work earlier this morning, so now I'm having the inevitable debate about what to do with my time today. For a change, I actually have some extra cash but that isn't an automatic decision to go out and spend the money. I rather enjoy the feeling that I have knowing that I'm ahead of things once again.

Stevie Nicks is concerned only with taking her with me wherever I go today. She makes the decision about going out a difficult one to make because I can't take her everywhere with me. Perhaps it is best that I stay home and rest this morning after all. There is really nothing that compels me to go anywhere right now. I need to remember that the money I save today will be available for me tomorrow.

I have my financial goals set here. I am continuing to pay down my remaining debt and the key is to not let anything get in my way as I work on this goal. Of course, there are times when money has to be spent, but I have to be the only person who makes those decisions. I have wasted too much of my time without being the person in control. The decisions I make today determine my status tomorrow.

So, I am apparently set here for today and prepared to stay at home. I do need the rest, so I will probably take a nap later in the day before Hal gets home. The desire to go out for the sake of going out is just losing it's appeal to me right now. Making the responsible choice is not always the glamorous thing to do but it is almost always the most effective in the long term.

The sun has finally reappeared in the sky here for the first time since Monday! I was beginning to wonder if we would ever see sunshine here again after so many miserable days. I suppose that the change in weather has something to do with my restless nature right now, but my decision to stay home stands. I can enjoy the weather from the balcony and not waste any gas in the process. I will always have my blog to keep me occupied as the urge to write strikes me.

With either the iPhone or the Chromebook handy, maintaining my blog is so easy. My posts have tended to fall back into the category of daily journals once again, but I will let this go on as long as it keeps me writing. To tie this back to the earlier part of my post, pouring my feelings and thoughts out onto the screen in pixels doesn't really cost me a thing, and it helps to keep me sane at the worst of times. After a quiet morning that included a nap, I'm awake again and j finished my lunch. The Stooges have also been fed, and I am back to writing once again. It is still at least an hour until Hal gets home but I have nowhere to go until then anyway. I am keeping the TV off, as is my normal routine because I just don't need the ceaseless noise to ruin my day. Perhaps I'll take a nice long shower before Hal gets home if nothing else. The weekend has become, at least for me, a time to rest and recover from the previous week. Necessity in the past curtailed my weekend activities, and now I find that I truly don't miss all the hassle as much as I used to. Being in a stable and happy long-term relationship will have that effect on us all. I know that I am extremely lucky to have the life I have. My time is better spent focusing on the positives rather than on things that we don't have yet. As Americans, we have this curse of consumerism that seemingly governs our entire adult lives, if we let it. We are constantly bombarded with messages designed to make us feel inadequate if we don't have Product X or Item B in our home. This is, of course, comets capitalistic BULLSHIT that is designed and purposefully directed at us in order to generate feelings of inadequacy and greed. I know that recognizing this fact explains 99% of why I hate TV. I would much rather spendy time with music or silence. I refuse to be treated as nothing more than a revenue steam for corporate America any longer. We have what we need to live, and that is enough.
The sun is still out here and it has warmed up nicely. It will be a beautiful afternoon and I plan to make the most of it along with Hal and The Stooges.
Hal did decide that we needed to go out after he got home. We had a nice dinner (I ate too much), followed by my waiting on him as he shopped for shoes and then insisted I stop at Safeway for a few things. We went home after that, and are in for the rest of the night. Other than the cost of dinner, I didn't spend any money. For that, I am glad.

05 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 5 2015 - Friday At Last

Friday is here at last! Even though the weather remains miserable, I don’t care because the weekend is just hours away. There are rumors that a burning orb might appear in the sky sometime in the future, but that is nothing more than a rumor at this point. Legend tells that this burning orb will cause the temperature to actually warm up, more urban legend stuff.
After fighting with my company laptop for over an hour, I finally got everything to work this morning. The stress level over this issue was non-existent because it is still Friday whether the machine works or not. I cannot believe that I only have 1 conference call to listen in on today. After 1300, I will be in shutdown mode anyway.
Once my day at work is over, I hope to get out for a little while. I have already asked Hal to decide what he wants to do. Whatever that turns out to be, it won’t involve staying out late since Hal has to work in the morning.
I completed my weekly meeting. Due to so many key players being absent, next Friday will be a repeat plus whatever new items come up before next Friday. I get paid regardless, so it doesn’t bother me. At least this means that I only have one conference call to sit through at 1230 and then the rest of Friday at work should be quiet as the weekend approaches.
The last conference call of the day is finally over with. Hal has not indicated what he wants to do after work, there are still nearly 3 hours until that decision comes due. I am going to do something regardless. Perhaps I will go to look at high-tech toys this afternoon, it will male me crazy and give me the inspiration to get a winning lottery ticket, if nothing else.
Now I have just over an hour left in the day and I am slowly closing things out for the week. I’ll have a smoke break and then come back to officially close this up. The sky is much lighter than it has been, but still no sign of the actual Sun. Hopefully, it will make an appearance sometime later today.
The sun never did come out, but Hal and I had a great time together regardless. We made a trip to get some cat food for The Stooges, went by the grocery store for some items, and then picked up dinner from Popeyes before heading back home. After we got home, we watched old murder movies from the 1940s on Netflix. The type of movies with a cast of shady characters and the wise-cracking detective who solves things. We laughed at the stereotypes that were in every movie.
After that, it was time for Hal to go to bed and time for me to write about our evening. Sadly, Hal has to get up early to go to work in the morning. I’ll miss him during the day until he gets home again. Perhaps I will get out some on my own tomorrow, but then again I say that every weekend and end up staying here. Either way is fine because we have a great life together.

04 June 2015

Dreamer’s World June 4 2015 - Rainy Thursday

Thursday has arrived, and just like Tuesday and Wednesday, it is cloudy and drizzling outside with the temperatures stuck in the low 60s. This is really annoying, but of course no one can do anything about the weather. It certainly does not feel like June outside with crappy weather like this.
At least working from home keeps me from being out in this weather to commute back and forth to and from the office. I don’t miss that office at all. To actually call it an office was a misnomer from the start. The place was a townhouse owned by the company that I work for. It was never designed as an office, but as a stop-gap solution to client moves in 2011. After 4 years, it became apparent that nothing was ever going to change, so I campaigned to shut the place down and work from home since the other coworkers had made their decisions to do so already.
That problem is behind me now. I am more happy working from home, although initially I was resistant to making the change. I am glad now that I did.
The afternoon has begun here. I had a salmon patty for lunch and can now relax and just listen in on phone calls for a few hours since my inputs are never asked for, but I am still required to attend. This will get me through most of the afternoon. There are no plans for after work, at least not yet. I am fine with staying home this evening since tomorrow is Friday.
I am rather ambivalent about work this afternoon. The meetings that I am required to attend are not ones in which I have a lot of input. Due to the 3-hour time difference between here and company headquarters, this is a daily pattern. It does kill my productivity during the afternoon, but this is nothing new. It has been this way forever.
Hopefully, the weather will be better tomorrow. If that is the case, I will try to make some plans for after work tomorrow. The weekend is still open as far as plans go, but I am under no pressure to make plans now. As long as I can save some money this weekend, I am up for almost anything.
I made it through the workday and will take some time to relax. I’ll try to catch up on the news of the day and make sure that I get to bed early this evening so I’m ready for tomorrow.
After some time spent listening to music as Hal watches Tv in the other room, I removed my headphones to discover that it has finally decided to rain here after all the cloudy weather. Makes the decision to stay at home really look like the smart choice. Now the hard part and that is whether or not to have another salmon patty for dinner or think about something else. Chances are that I will just have another salmon patty and that will be it.
The rain goes on. I had my dinner as promised, and it was delicious. Time for some quiet here, I think I have earned it. One of the things that always help is to write, as I have often noted. At the day draws to an end, I wrote quite a lot, but realized that it really wasn’t something I wanted to put down here. At any rate, I hope that everyone has a great night, and a better day tomorrow.

Dreamer’s World - The Duggars

I finally have to write something about a story that just gets worse and worse. The lunatic family known as the Duggars have been exposed as a bunch of lying, hypocritical, RWNJ extremists. There was an alleged interview with the Mother and Father of the clan on Fake News. I never watch Fake News, but I did put together a list of questions that I would like the Duggars to answer. Presented in no particular order.

  • When were you first made aware of the behavior of your son, Josh?
  • How did you learn of this?
    • Was Josh caught in the act?
    • Was Josh reported by one of the other children?
  • Why were the authorities NOT notified when this behavior was discovered?
  • Who made the decision that this was best handled “by other means”?
  • What did you say, or have you said, to your DAUGHTERS who suffered at the hands of this monster?
  • Was the time that you were made aware of this the FIRST TIME that it happened? Or has there been previous reports that you chose to ignore?
  • If it was the FIRST TIME that you were made aware, and then discovered that this had happened multiple times in the past, what prevented you from notifying the authorities?
  • You make a living by presenting yourselves and your family as models for some RWNJ lunatic christian utopia on television. Do you feel any sense that you have defrauded everyone by covering this up?
  • How much money has the Duggar family made from the television series?
  • How much money has the Duggar family made from the political connections created before and during the run of this television series?
  • How much money did Josh Duggar make as a political lobbyist promoting the very values that he himself failed to live up to?
  • Do you see any failure in the way that you handled this situation?

Questions for others:

  • To TLC, how much money has the Duggars television series made for TLC?
  • Was anyone at TLC aware of this criminal behavior at any time before, or during the production of this TV series?
  • Is there any correlation between the decision to show a marathon of this TV show at the same time that the media finally got off their asses and reported on this story?
  • Has TLC benefited from any political connections that came through their relationship with the Duggar family?
  • To Arkansas Child Protective Services (or whatever it is called there), Was your agency made aware of these incidents?
    • If so, please explain your failure to follow these claims up with appropriate action.
    • If not, where was the disconnect that prevented you from learning of these events with the Duggar family?
  • To the Judge in Arkansas, have you benefited financially or professionally from any contact with the Duggar family?
  • To the church the Duggar family attends, has your organization benefited financially or otherwise from association with the Duggars?
  • To the republiKKKan party, has your relationship with the Duggars provided any benefits, financial or otherwise?

I could go on and on. Shame that no one will ask these questions.

03 June 2015

Dreamer's World June 3 2015

I'm happy to report that I got a good night of sleep and am feeling great this morning as I ride the bus to Metro on my way to meet with the client. Every Wednesday it is the same routine, although since I work from home now I can catch the apartment shuttle to Metro and save a little money by doing so. Unfortunately, the apartment shuttle doesn't run during his middle of the day so I do have to use the regular bus to get back home from Metro after I finish my meeting.
There are few things as frustrating as going to meet with the client only to discover that their schedule has changed at the last minute. I am on my way back home after spending over an hour waiting for a meeting that never happened. Supposedly, the meeting will take place at some point, but I have other work that needs to be done. There are a few meetings that I have to attend before going to a team-building event in the early afternoon. That would normally be the end of my workday, but I had to reschedule meetings with my supervisor until 1700. I normally am done with work by 1530, but there are always sacrifices to be made.
At least tomorrow will be Thursday and 1 day closer to payday. With any luck, the warmer weather will return tomorrow as well. The hight temperature today will not even approach 65 degrees with cloudy skies. It feels like I am in Seattle rather than Washington, DC right now.
The day is almost over now. The team lunch was fun, and then I returned home for the early evening 1-1 with my supervisor. I was amazed when she said that I can take that time back on Friday afternoon!
Tomorrow is supposed to be another dreary and rainy day. Perhaps we will see the sun again someday.